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CIT completes sale of commercial aircraft leasing biz

CIT Group Inc. has completed the sale of its commercial aircraft leasing business to Avolon Holdings Ltd. for a purchase price of $10.4 billion.

CIT will use proceeds of the sale to fund about $3 billion in capital return to shareholders and redeem $5.8 billion in senior unsecured debt. The company also continues to review the issuance of about $325 million of Tier 1 qualifying preferred stock, which will allow for an incremental return of an equivalent amount of common equity.

The transaction doubled the size of Bohai Financial Investment Holding Co. Ltd. subsidiary Avolon, making it the third-largest aircraft leasing platform in the world with 149 customers in 62 countries in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific regions.

JP Morgan Securities LLC served as CIT's exclusive financial adviser, while Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz acted as legal counsel. UBS Investment Bank and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC were the financial advisers to Avolon. Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, Clifford Chance LLP and Maples and Calder are Avolon's legal advisers.

KPMG and Ersnt & Young also advised on the transaction.